Skip to main content

They're ours? Right?

I read the other day of a treasure find in Great Britain.

What makes the story so unusual is the coins were not ancient Celtic or Roman.
They were American.

According to the London Evening Standard a trove of 80 American double eagles ($20 gold pieces) was discovered buried in a garden.

They were dated in a span of years from 1854 to 1913.

There was the usual gross overvaluation placed on them. The paper said hundreds of thousands of pounds. With the pound at $1.60, the coins would be hard-pressed to reach 100,000 pounds.

But the find is still interesting. A museum in Hackney, the area where the coins were discovered, wants to exhibit them.

With World War I breaking out in 1914 and an internal British suspension of the gold standard, perhaps the owner was hedging against a German invasion.

We may never find out what the real story is, but if we were like certain nations the United States could declare them national patrimony and demand them back.

On what grounds?

With such a dodgy pedigree, they obviously must belong to us. They all say “United States of America” right on them.

What more proof do you want?